Friday, August 11, 2017

Vincent, Theo and the Waters of Amsterdam July 29th

Its hard not being astonished by Van Gogh's letters.

Image result for van gogh gauguin portraitImage result for gauguin portrait of van gogh
Vincent van Gogh painting of Paul Gauguin,right, Paul Gauguin - Vincent van Gogh painting sunflowers - Google Art Project.jpg, left.

We woke up and strolled over the Van Gogh museum, just across the way from the park and the youth hostel where we stayed.  Its not  a new story.  People the world are drawn to it. A painting a day, he passed his life.  But the struggles were always with him, like us.  He loved regular people and the world in which they lived and worked.  And the critics condemned him this work.  He studied more and more.  His moods ebbed, his feelings crumbled and flowed along with the mornings he adored, the mystery of the world evoked through his strokes. So many emotions, lost loves, sensations, connections with the natural world, the zeitgeist of Paris, his friendships, and struggles. Gaugin painted him painting; he painted Gaugin, they discussed art, and the nature of their craft.  They fought; Gaugin left. Some say it was Gaugin, who cut off the ear and the two artists decided to keep it hush hush.  Regardless, mania consumed him.   He went to the hospital. But he kept painting the trees, taking in images of the world, writing his brother until the very end.

Finishing the show, the rain came.  So we retreated to a cafĂ©, where everyone shared their takeaways from the art.  The flea market vendors tended their wares in the rain.  

We were going to meet our friends at the Church of St Nicholas at two.  So we made our way through the bodies, red lights, streets, and canals on the way to water.

They told us about their lives in the city. That’s where dad bought his house, where we sent our kids for childcare, where we met for a first date. 

The water connects the city with the ocean, delicately finessing the flows of water, which may well consume the city. But not if the city can stop it. They are building and planning and engineering for a city which lives in harmony with the water, in its own delicate ecology.  

Saying goodbye to our friends, we went for a pint and played in the park. 

Cyclists zoomed about.

The sky was striking. 

A day in the life, an afternoon in the park.

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